CPFR® Model Frequently Asked Questions
Why update the VICS CPFR model?
When the VICS CPFR Guidelines were initially published in 1998, they offered a best practices framework for future collaboration efforts. Since then, there have been over 300 actual pilot and production implementations of CPFR involving over 1500 companies. The new model addresses many shortcomings and incorporates innovations based upon real project experiences.
The VICS CPFR Committee also sought to address two contrasting goals in this update: to make CPFR simpler and more understandable to business executives, while providing more detailed guidance to implementers than before.
What has changed in the new model?
Collaboration Participants: The consumer has been placed at the center of the model, rather than off to one side, so the ultimate focus of collaborative efforts is clear.
Collaboration Activities: CPFR has been transformed from a linear process to an iterative cycle of four activities: Strategy & Planning, Demand & Supply Management, Execution and Analysis. These Collaboration Activities rebalance the original model, maintaining the emphasis on planning and forecasting, while increasing the emphasis on execution and analysis. While activities are presented in a logical order, they are not numbered, and no predetermined sequence is implied.
Collaboration Tasks: Eight Collaboration Tasks replace the "9-steps" of the original CPFR model. Steps 4, 5, 7 and 8 have been consolidated into a single "Exception Management" task, making room for new Order Fulfillment and Performance Assessment tasks.
CPFR Scenarios: Predefined CPFR scenarios are provided for different trading relationships:
- Retail Event Collaboration, for highly promoted channels or categories
- DC Replenishment Collaboration, for goods that are replenished through customer distribution centers
- Store-level Collaboration, for direct store delivery or retail DC-to-store distribution
- Collaborative Assortment Planning, for apparel and seasonal goods
If the CPFR model’s changing, why not change the CPFR name?
CPFR is recognized as a best practice worldwide. While the model has been refined, the basic elements of the process remain the same. CPFR practitioners who have reviewed the updated model see it as a more accurate expression of the work that they’ve already been doing.
How do these changes apply to my business?
The updated model should help CPFR program managers gain executive support by offering a clearer, high-level picture of the process, linked to familiar enterprise business processes. The CPFR scenarios have also made CPFR more flexible and adaptable to different industries, geographies and distribution methods. European retailers, apparel manufacturers and direct store delivery categories are all addressed in the scenarios that have been developed.
Where can I learn more?
A good introduction to CPFR is the CPFR Overview (pdf, 1.48Mb), a 17-page summary of the guidelines.
More detailed information can be found in business process guides published for each CPFR scenario. As of May 2004, only the Retail Event Collaboration business process guide has been published. (It is available on the CPFR website as well.) Additional documentation, including project implementation guides, case studies and ROI assessment tools, is in development.
Retailers, manufacturers, solution providers and consultants are encouraged to attend quarterly VICS CPFR where practitioners share best practices and the industry guidelines are developed.
Learn the basics of CPFR online or become a Certified Practitioner by attending at 3-Day Certification Program. Learn more